Philip Green - Men in power and #metoo

Late last week, the man behind the British #metoo scandal was revealed to be retail fashion mogul, Philip Green. Named by a Labour peer in the House of Lords after the Telegraph posted that there was an injunction preventing the publishing of his name, Philip Green was  revealed to have abused women, been involved in racist behavior and bullying towards members of staff and then subsequently paid them huge sums of money to keep quiet. Through it all, he has maintained that he has done ‘nothing wrong’ echoing the privileged rhetoric of the men that fell before him, notably Harvey Weinstein, the centre of the #metoo accusations in Hollywood. It appears these figures can’t seem to understand that they: a rich white male, can repeatedly abuse people, and not get away with it forever.

 

Once again, this brings to light the systematic abuse that women have to go through in the workplace. Because these men yield so much power in the field, it is incredibly difficult to challenge their authority, and it takes brave women, such as those who have spoken up during the #metoo movement and Brett Kavanaugh’s trial to underline the problem that still persists in the 21st century workplace. This yet again reiterates the notion the amount of care women and minorities have to take in the workplace and furthermore, and how we need to respond to this. Listening to the victims, and letting them speak up, giving the platform to those who need to make their voice heard is the first step in this process. We also need to ensure that we provide a support network to those around us to make sure that people feel safe and comfortable to share their stories. These steps are essential in raising awareness and putting an end to these incidents by showing they will never be tolerated. 

 

As we begin to listen to other people’s stories, we began to reflect on our own, or that of those close to us. Soon we realise that these poisonous people infiltrate all aspects of modern day society: the teacher that acts extremely inappropriately towards you in high school, the boss that makes lewd comments about your looks but doesn’t do this to your male colleagues. For a young women, navigating your way through these sexist power structures is difficult and it isn’t until these other victims speak up that you can begin to believe in yourself about things you have experienced, and understand that this is everyday sexism that cannot be tolerated any longer.

 

Allegations such as these present yet again in the news this week show the battle to bring to justice those who have committed these crimes is not over. However, it does mean that day by day, voices are being added to discourse surrounding the dissent to these privileged, abusive men, and it is surely sending the message that their time has come to an end.